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On the Chopping Block

(A Callie's Kitchen Mystery #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  314 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Building a small business has been murder, but Callie Costas didn’t expect to be confronted with an actual body. The 36-year-old Greek-American proprietor of “Callie's Kitchen,” a meals-from-scratch business in an idyllic small town, has been busy creating a post-divorce life for herself, her young daughter and her Yorkie, Koukla. After a lot of hard work (including ...more
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published May 24th 2016 by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  314 ratings  ·  81 reviews

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Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Dollycas’s Thoughts

As soon as I saw this book was set in Wisconsin I added it to my reading list. I also love watching the show Chopped in all its forms on the Food Network, so knowing a Chopped type competition was a catalyst in this story didn’t hurt either. I wish the actual contest had been part of the story.

Callie Costas was raised by her father and was expected to take over his restaurant when he retired, but she decided to venture out on her own and open “Callie’s Kitchen”. Her business
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When her chef boyfriend is found murdered in his sprawling home, divorced mom and restaurateur Calliope "Callie" Costas must juggle a bustling eatery, an overprotective father, and a handsome detective to prove that she’s not a killer. The story flowed as smoothly as honey, and each character was engaging and unique. Grandma Viv, Callie’s bubbly cohort, was one of my particular favorites. The pacing was superb, with tidbits of information—like sugary warm loukamades—sprinkled judiciously ...more
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I found the first book On the Chopping Block in this new series quite enjoyable. I won this book during the Cozy Mystery Readathon and was anxious to read. I really enjoyed it and Callie can not only cook up some great Greek food but she can find a killer as well. Keep up the good work Jenny Kales I'm looking forward to book two in Callie's Kitchen.
Susan Furlong
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ms. Kales has created a wonderfully fresh amateur sleuth who solves mysteries with the same finesse that she uses to create tantalizing Greek delights for her new enterprise--Callie's Kitchen. I thoroughly enjoyed this first installment and am looking forward to more adventures in what promises to be a popular new culinary cozy series.

Peggy R
This is terrific debut cozy mystery by author Jenny Kales. It is full of wonderful, hearty colorful Midwestern characters. Callie and her family are likable and people that you would want to know. The story is well written with a good pace, strong plot and a terrific mystery. Ms. Kales provides the reader with plenty of viable suspects who emerge as the story unfolds. There are plenty of twists, turns and clues that are designed to misdirect the reader's attention. The mystery started off in the ...more
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was such a well-written and thought out mystery! I definitely didn't guess who the killer was and there were plenty of suspects to pick from, some good twists and some little side mysteries as well.

Callie Costas is a divorced mom of a 10 year old girl who is trying to build her dream, Callie's Kitchen, which is a Greek inspired restaurant. Everything seems to be going well until Callie finds her boyfriend, Drew, stabbed to death in his home the night they were supposed to have dinner there
Linda 📚
Culinary cozy fans...this debut story is sure to whet your appetite and contains delish recipes for you to try at the end.

Callie Costas is a divorced mother struggling to keep her Mediterranean inspired restaurant, Callie's Kitchen, afloat in a town filled with lots of competition. When Drew Staven, the chef she's been casually dating, meets with unexpected foul play, Callie is the number one suspect on Detective Sands list. Was the murder a random act of violence or a crime of passion? Callie
On the Chopping Block is a nice start to what promises to be a very cozy mystery series indeed! Calliope Costas is a single mom and the owner of Callie's Kitchen in Crystal Bay, Wisconsin. When the man she's dating is found murdered, she must discover the culprit to clear her name and save her business. Fast-paced and filled with suspects and delicious recipes, Jenny Kales has created a well-written story that fans of cozies will be sure to enjoy! A+
Amy Reade
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A yummy mystery!

With as many suspects as Wisconsin has varieties of cheese, this book was a delightful way to spend a few hours. Jenny Kales has a quite a way with words and the reader feels pulled into the action and drama. I love the town of Crystal Bay and look forward to getting to know more of its inhabitants in the next book, Spiced and Iced.
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Callie runs a food business and is dating another food business owner, she goes to his house for a meal and finds him stabbed to death. While she tries to figure out who did it and get herself off the suspect list she finds a lot of things aren't what they seem. An enjoyable story with plenty of family background to add to the story.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This culinary cozy definitely kept me on my toes! As a first-in-series, I found myself suspecting nearly every character at some point. I liked main character Callie, her dad George, grandfather Viv, and her best friend Sam. I even liked her ex-husband Hugh, as they have an amicable relationship and share custody of their daughter Olivia. There were plenty of twists and turns in this story to keep me engaged, and I didn't solve the mystery until it was revealed. This is my first book by Jenny ...more
Mary Brown
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
On The Chopping Block
A Callie’s Kitchen Mystery, Book #1
Jenny Kales
5 Stars


Building a small business has been murder, but Callie Costas didn’t expect to be confronted with an actual body. The 36-year-old Greek-American proprietor of “Callie's Kitchen,” a meals-from-scratch business in an idyllic small town, has been busy creating a post-divorce life for herself, her young daughter and her Yorkie, Koukla. After a lot of hard work (including staving off her father’s continual advice), she’
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
“το αγαπώ!” I yell. It is hard not to channel my inner Zorba and holler out, “I love it!”

Callie was eager about the home-cooked meal by her boyfriend Drew Staven, who had recently been named the winner of the “Taste of Crystal Bay” cooking contest and the $10,000 prize. But, when she arrives and doorbells, knocks, and calling out his name went unanswered she decides to peek into the kitchen window. There on the floor is Drew…dead with a knife in his chest. Callie had been a participant and
Yvonne Gilbert
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great cozy!

Jenny Kales really knows how to bring together a cast of great characters. A Greek father! George was great! The Callie's kitchen series is going to be fun with mysteries to solve, family and friends to meet, get to know and grow to love.
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fun book to read. The lead characters are very well written about. The main character,Callie,is very believable ,she is a mom, a business owner, a boss,a good daughter...and is a murder suspect.Lol I like how the author made Callie vulnerable and not a pushover,or someone who thinks she knows it all. The mystery behind her boyfriend Drews murder is very well written and it leaves you guessing who the killer is and why Drew had to die. A very good read that I would recommend to ...more
Loretta Nyhan
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this story! The mystery kept me on my toes--I'm pretty good at figuring out who-dun-it, but Kales had me guessing until the very end. Callie and her crew are relatable and hilarious, and I found myself completely engaged in their lives. Oh, and let's not forget the food! OMG, the food. The recipes included reflect the main character's Greek heritage and they are amazing. I haven't seen many Greek-inspired cozies, so this book was an enjoyably fresh take on the genre. Highly ...more
Ava Black
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A lighthearted read that's quick and fun. Loved the setting, a tourist town that runs on gossip and lies, where nothing is what it seems. Likeable characters and cozy goodness come together. Would like to try the creme brulee cupcake recipe in the back!
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A book that has all of the best of a very very good cozy mystery. Many elements made this a delight to read. Believable characters. Many strong red herring's that are so well blended into the story that I was just not sure until the end who the actual murderer was. Sometimes red herring characters are added in such a way that the story just doesn't flow nicely. This story is NOT one of them. The pace of the story kept me reading along without being weighed down with repetitions and re-hashing ...more
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes a genre book pops up onto your Facebook by an author you follow and you see that their spanakopita recipe is in the book and it is FREE! I rushed to buy On the Chopping Block by Jenny Kales. I had a couple books before I started but seemingly big brother knew I had bought a Jenny Kales book and she was all over my social media and all I wanted was to visit Crystal Bay and meet Callie Costas.
As with all self published books I think that there is a certain level of is this edited and
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
my go 2 are always mysteries ...for some reason i really enjoy cooking, baking or kitchen kind of mysteries ...those seems to be the ones i really find funny, humorous or way interesting. i mean look at that cover. so cool!! such a new fan of Jenny Kales ... great read. 4 books in this series. set in Wisconsin. I look forward to more from Jenny ... love her characters, her writing style ... so awesome!! i'll read more from her soon.
Gary Korzelius
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great read, couldn't stop reading.

I loved the entire concept. The characters are charming, the pictures I got of the location were wonderful, but most importantly the plot makes you want to stay up past your bedtime to finish the book!

I understand that this was Ms. Kales first murder mystery book. Well all I can say is more more more!
Aug 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have had this on my Kindle for a little while and randomly chose it last night. I remember buying it because I found the cover so enticing!

The theme behind this cozy is a meals from scratch business with a Greek flavor, ran by the Callie of Callie’s Kitchen. Callie is the protagonist and has a sidekick in the form of a lawyer pal, a curmudgeon of a father, a thorn in her side Detective, and a dead boyfriend. Detective Sands is trying to leave no stone unturned, but Callie is determined to help
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Story With Surprises

Callie Costas has struck out on her own. Followed her dream of a Greek bakery also offering easy meals to go for the busy person.

She came in second in the cooking competition in the sponsored by the Crystal Bay small business owners, first went to Drew, the man she's quietly been dating.
When she finds his body, of course she is the main suspect.
As her business starts to fail, Callie decides to investigate in hopes of clearing her name.
The twists had me surprised by the
Missi Martin (Stockwell)
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
On the Chopping Block is Jenny Kales debut book and it is a doozie !!! First in the Callie's Kitchen Mystery series and it will have you hooked and wanting more !!

Crystal Bay is such a quaint little town that you will wish you were a tourist enjoying the water, the restaurants, the shops and the people.

Callie who just happens to own Callie's Kitchen is dating Drew who happens to own another restaurant named, what else, Drew. But when Callie goes to Drew's house for a dinner date, she finds him
Shelley Kubitz Mahannah
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ms. Kales's debut novel is a perfect summer beach read complete with vibrant characters, a winning heroine, and a whodunit that has the reader guessing until (almost literally) the end.

Callie Costas is a single mom, restaurateur, and doting daughter and granddaughter in idyllic Crystal Bay, Wisconsin. She also adds on the title of "detective" when she discovers a dead body and is the police department's prime suspect for the murder.

Callie is a believable and likeable character, she's also
K.A. Davis
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK starts off with a bang and doesn’t let up for the entire book! It kept me turning pages to find out what happens next with twists and turns in the plot. Callie is a sympathetic protagonist, juggling her new business with raising her young daughter on her own and trying to keep her widowed father happy. Her grandmother, while not on scene that often, is a hoot and a source of comfort to Callie. The interaction between the characters seemed genuine and has set the stage for ...more
Tammie Marsh Grant
Great mystery. Can't wait to read the next book in the series
Bonnie Dale Keck
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
kindle unlimited, but actucally somehow got all 3 on freebie days so 'bought' that way, becuase just from the start of the story no way would I have bought bought these. In the very first bit, for example, it stated that the house was 'composed entirely of burnished brick' then goes on to talk about neo classical columns and a multitude of windows...but as far as I know {and have huge vocabulary}, 'composed entirely of' means everything was made of brick, which was obviously NOT true. Ended with ...more
Callie Costas has divorced her husband. She
lives with her daughter, Olivia and their dog,
Koufax who is a Yorkie in Wisconsin.
Callie is busy with her running the
Greek-American Callie's Kitchen. This is a
bakery plus with a meals-from-scratch menu.
The reader will meet Max (her assistant),
Lucille from the bank, Jane who runs the
nearby exercise & spa, Jeff and Minnette, her
neighboring Chocolatiers, George ( Callie’s strict
and over protective father), Samantha (Callie’s
best friend and
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this story and am looking forward to the next in this series, highly recommend reading this.
Building a small business has been murder, but Callie Costas didn’t expect to be confronted with an actual body. The 36-year-old Greek-American proprietor of “Callie's Kitchen,” a meals-from-scratch business in an idyllic small town, has been busy creating a post-divorce life for herself, her young daughter and her Yorkie, Koukla. After a lot of hard work (including staving off her father’s
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Award-winning writer Jenny Kales is the author of The Callie's Kitchen Mystery series. Her debut cozy mystery is ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK, followed by SPICED AND ICED. Book 3, SECRETS AND PIES, is now available!

Though she's worked as a writer and journalist for years, fiction writing is her first love and her marriage into a Greek-American Midwestern family inspired The Callie's Kitchen mysteries,

Other books in the series

A Callie's Kitchen Mystery (4 books)
  • Spiced and Iced (A Callie's Kitchen Mystery #2)
  • Secrets and Pies (Callie's Kitchen Mystery #3)
  • A Stew to a Kill (A Callie's Kitchen Cozy Mystery Book 4)